We want Tim Neese on our side

Elkhart County needs Tim Neese on its side.
Posted on Oct. 31, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

The more clout Elkhart and Elkhart County can return to the Statehouse the better.

Tim Neese mastered the legislative process during his five terms in the House, becoming a thoughtful and responsive voice for District 48. He showed enough independence to oppose Republican initiatives on school vouchers and charter school legislation, but he emerged as a party leader when he authored the bill creating the Indiana Health Compact.

Now — if Congress approves — the state can set up its own alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

Neese supports lowering the state’s 6.5 percent corporate income tax and wants to make it easier for high school students to take college-level courses — an idea that would dovetail nicely with Elkhart County’s Horizon Project, which seeks to remake the local economy through educational initiatives. He’s focused on crafting a balanced two-year budget without tax increases and says that lawmakers should spend “virtually no time” on social issues during the next session.

Neese’s opponent in the Nov. 6 election, Dan Morrison, nearly won the Democratic primary for the U.S. House in the 2nd District. The party slotted him against Neese for the general election.

It’s easy to see why Morrison almost knocked off the better-funded Brendan Mullen in May — he’s a tireless worker and a big personality who easily engages voters. But, perhaps because he spent so much time and effort running for Congress, his grasp of the state and local issues don’t match Neese’s.

Elkhart lost thousands of jobs in the recession. As we continue to rebuild our economy, the chairman of the House Local Government Committee — Neese — is a guy we want on our side.

We endorse Tim Neese for re-election in Indiana House District 48.

A similar case plays out in Senate District 12, where Carlin Yoder quickly ascended to assistant majority caucus leader after his election in 2008. Yoder introduced the Right to Work legislation that became law during the last session, and no matter how you view the issue, Yoder’s involvement with the bill demonstrates the kind of muscle he can already flex in the Statehouse.

Yoder emerges from his first term as a young Mitch Daniels — intent on balancing the budget and growing the economy. He believes — correctly — that the state needs to act quickly to clean up the mess at the Department of Child Services.

His opponent on Tuesday’s ballot, Jim Ball, is a staunch opponent of Right to Work and believes that the state needs to spend more on education. He is a thoughtful and informed candidate who offers voters a clear alternative to Yoder.

But as we rebuild the Elkhart County economy, we need influential voices speaking on our behalf in Indianapolis. For that reason, we endorse Carlin Yoder for a second term as senator from Indiana District 12.

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